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Service of process by Facebook?

Don’t try this in Virginia, but it appears to have worked in Australia – up to a point.

Frustrated at not being able to serve a foreclosure notice by conventional means, an Australian lawyer sent the legal documents to a couple by an attachment to the woman’s Facebook account.

“It’s somewhat novel, however we do see it as a valid method of bringing the matter to the attention of the defendant,” the attorney, Mark McCormack, told an AP reporter in Canberra.

The AP story describes just what McCormack did to convince a court master to approve the type of service. The key appears to have been exhausting the more traditional – and some not so traditional – means of legal service.

The lapse of time between getting the master to approve the service and actually transmitting the documents proved to be a problem, however.

McCormack won the approval on Friday, but by the time he tried to serve the papers through Facebook late Tuesday (remember, Australia’s a day ahead of us), the debtors apparently had gotten wind of his effort and closed their account or secured it for privacy.

By Alan Cooper


  1. At first this seems odd, even outrageous. But… the ancient accepted practice of service by publication is really more odd. NO ONE reads those notices and we all know it. So is this any stranger or less effective? Or just newer?

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